March 08, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Licensing & Regulatory Issues MICRA Professional Liability
The California Medical Association (CMA), the California Dental Association and the California Hospital Association have filed an amicus letter with the California Supreme Court in the case of So vs. Shin. The letter asks the court to depublish an opinion issued by the second appellate district court, division four, which sets forth a narrow definition of “professional negligence" that strays from the well-established meaning of the term under California's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). If that ruling is allowed to stand as a precedent for future cases, it could lead to confusion and increased litigation about the scope of professional negligence and undermine the goals of MICRA and ultimately the quality of patient care.
In its amicus letter, CMA and the other amici expressed concern that litigants could misread the appellate court’s opinion to mean that they can get around the restrictions of MICRA by simply alleging that a medical professional’s actions were motivated by self-interest rather than a legitimate medical purpose.
MICRA, California’s landmark professional liability reforms, have for nearly 40 years fairly compensated injured parties while protecting access to care and keeping malpractice insurance rates affordable for California physicians.